Monday, January 31, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - The Naming of Piperstown

Piperstown Bridge

Folklore has it that Piperstown was originally part of a larger district called Montpelier, and that about 600 years ago, a famous Irish Piper named Cornon came to live here.  On summer evenings, Cornan would sit and play his pipes on the large granite stone (which is visible in the top right of this picture) for the local dances.  Hence The Pipers Stone.  Cornan was very popular and he lived in a small village on the lower side of the road.  As time went on, people often referred to this village as Piperstown, and Piperstown it still is.
The Piper's Stone

Poetry Bus Poem - Moments

NanU asked us to write a poem this week reflecting different days of the week or write about time, change or evolution. 

See prompt and other bus passengers @

Days change by the moment not the hour,
never still long enough to fully grasp each part.
I have lived many, won and lost some,
guarded remnants, seeking honesty of heart.
I didn't always see the things that I'd remember,
nor what it was, that I would soon forget.
Despite flawed recollection,
truth remain twisted in them,
within each strand,
the minuscules of life's path.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walking Photo Journal - Maurice of the Mountain - 100th Post

Maurice Collins

I was thinking about my 100th blog post, and to be honest, I couldn't decide what I would do for this momentous event!  So with no idea in my head, I went on my daily walk, and then I found the most brilliant inspiration. 

The man in the photograph is Maurice Collins, he is 94 and he walks the mountain everyday, sometimes 2-3 times.  He is a great man and apart from a little difficulty of hearing at times, and arthritis in the knee, he is probably healthier than myself.

It is great to talk to Maurice, because like the mountains he has been around for a very long time.  We spoke today about the bit of frost in the air, and the snow of 1947 when there were 40ft snowdrifts, we also spoke about the people, the new ones, those that have been here for only about 20 years!

Maurice got married at the age of 45.  His mother he says was a very good woman, and it didn't seem right to bring another woman into the house.  But when Maurice did get married, he was blessed with 5 children. 

As we walked down the mountain together, every now and then, he would throw a eye to his son's cattle, or wave to the odd mountain driver. 

I asked him what his secret was, was it healthy living?  He lived a hard life, he told me, but usually had enough to get by.  Times could be tough, but you just had to get on with it.  He misses being able to drive his car, but he misses driving his horse and cart more, despite often getting soaked through, often 3 or 4 times a day, hence the arthritis. 

Maurice remembers a time when Fridays was the day that folk, including his mother and father would travel into town, Camden Street, and sell eggs or buy seeds from Bolands.  They would make a day of it, he told me. 

The only time Maurice left Ireland, was when he went to London for his honeymoon.  He has a sister in America, a member of the Sisters of Mercy I think.  When he talks about London and America, you just know that he has no call to worry about either, his world is his life on the mountain, and there isn't an ounce of regret that this is the case. 

I enjoy talking to Maurice, he has a good outlook on life, and a gentleman for sure.  He loves everything about the mountain, and takes life as it comes with an appreciation that tomorrow is promised to no one.

We left each other at the corner of Piperstown Lane, both going our separate ways for a cup of tea to bring warmth back after the chill of the mountain air. 

I am sure I will write about Maurice again, he is just one of those folk that always brings something new to the conversation, but for now, thanks Maurice for my 100th post!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Walking Photo Journal - Sunset over Glenasmole

Sunset over Glenasmole January 29th 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Marilyn Monroe

I'm in the middle of reading 'Marilyn Monroe - The Personal Archives' at the moment, so I guess it is of no surprise that Marilyn gets the ticket this week. 

Marilyn was a movie icon that has always intrigued me.  In fact one of the first essays of any substance that I remember writing as a teenager, was about Marilyn Monroe, and how people are seldom what they seem.

'I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.'
— Marilyn Monroe

Friday, January 28, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Reluctance

I dragged myself out walking today, and pretty soon I felt a bit like Robert Frost when he wrote about the end of a season.


Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question 'Whither?'
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

- Robert Frost -

Magpie Tales - Escape


Her twelve year old feet run through the forest, they are bare and she is freezing.  There are lots of dark places hidden within the trees.  Beyond the tallest trees she can see the light glistening, calling her, telling her the way.

The light she knows is her only hope; she tries to stay focused, pushing herself forward, but her knees are weak, and she loses balance.  She has to get up, escape. The white canvass soaks through her, eating her skin as the trees swirl and she falls further still. 

The trees are closer now and so is the noise, a loud echo, that tells her, he is close.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

In the Skin of the Lion - Book Club Review

Michael Ondaatje

As you will see from the reviews below, we are a mixed bunch when it comes to opinions.  Certainly Mr Ondaatje caused some very lively debate regarding quality prose versus the merits/necessity for plot.  Some people fell in love, whilst others were less so.  All part of life's rich tapestry I guess!!

 (See excerpt link below)

I love In the Skin of a Lion because it changed my opinion of what a novel can be. Michael Ondaatje is a very unique writer - his style and sense of structure is very distinctive and original. He is not linear, and eventually, as his 'very faint, very human' structure reveals itself, I found myself submitting to a free, image and character-driven version of storytelling. What is initially frustrating but ultimately liberating is the extent to which he allows you to make up your own mind. I like that sense of unpredictability in Ondaatje, that the story is written on the wing (like life) and that the story can go anywhere at any time. Not many novelists are able to make you feel you are on such a free-floating journey when you read their books.

Ondaatje is a great writer, it's just a shame that he's not such a good storyteller.

Hauntingly beautiful, perfect writing, poetic, moving, thought provoking - this book really does ‘bristle with intelligence’ as the blurb on the back cover suggests. Historically very informative I felt I learnt a lot about Canada’s backwoods and the ‘throbbing polyglot city’ - and about the particular tensions between rich and poor, excess and want.  The descriptions of work, of back breaking labour and the products of that labour were also exceptional.
Maybe I’m just too tired but I had to work a little too hard at times to follow the plot– I got lost and had to re-read a good bit to the point where I have to confess I wouldn’t have made it had I not committed to read it in the group. This would have been an awful shame because I would have missed so much and especially the exhilarating debate it caused.  I fell in love with four of the characters -  Nicholas, Hana, Caravaggio and Gianetta (in the order in which we meet them).  Maybe I haven’t read enough of this postmodern structure and it will grow on me but – in the end - in terms of plot I felt a bit left at sea like Caravaggio and Gianetta – and not sure if the author will come back for me.

Really nice, poetic writing, shame about the plot being stuck so deep in Mr Ondaatje's subconscious that he completely failed to tell us poor mere mortal readers what was going on.

I was left with a love/hate feeling towards ‘In the Skin of a Lion’, mainly because Ondaatje sought to bury plot and understanding so deep that at times, it was like finding a needle in a haystack, a beautiful haystack, but a haystack all the same.  The novel has merit on many fronts, some of the brief encounters alone, like the meeting with the young boy Al, by themselves would salvage you from hating this novel because of their pure joy to read.  There is absolutely no doubt that the man can write and does so brilliantly about love and sex and many other things, but at a cost.  Overall I was glad I read it, and understood that it would not be a linear tale, but his ‘very faint, very human’ structure', (a quote I got from google during the reading of the novel, because I needed to know what made the man tick!) was a little too faint for my mental well being at times.

This book is about the immigrants in Toronto in the 1920’s who built the bridges, waterworks, tunnels.  It is about the dispossessed, those without who see the lives of the rich and feel the anger burning within them.  Sometimes they rise against it or get drunk and feel kinship among their own. It is a book about love.  Love that doesn’t own but is given freely.  It is a book about life, the whimsy of it and the way we grow.  Above all, it is a book about language that makes each reading, be it the second, third or hundredth, as pleasurable, if not more so then the first.  It is a work of genius.  Allow yourself to be immersed within its pages and the world changes. 

In the Skin of a Lion - all 20 pages I managed - suggested itself as a challenging, yet beautifully written novel. Creating a fierce debate about whether exquisite writing is enough to make a book worth reading, or whether a conventional story arc is a must, it certainly evoked strong feeling in those who managed to get to the end. And after hearing the lively debate - flying nuns, arsonists, banana cake! - I think I might just go back and finish it.

Next month's book club choice is 'The Pornographer'
by John Mc Gahern see introduction link below:-

Walking/Photo Journal - All alone

Sometimes it is good to be alone!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Haystacks

Speaking of haystacks, I guess planning ahead, is usually a good thing.

Bales of Hay - Bohernabreena

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Housebound!

It's a soggy wet day in the old mountains, too dull and miserable to walk, plus the car is sick and the man in the garage isn't feeling hopeful I'll get it back today either, so housebound it is!

  (Coffee was good, next time I'll leave the plastic milk bottle and ugly butter carton out of it!)

Wet January Day

Monday, January 24, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Waiting for Spring

Dull, cold day, Spring will hopefully be here soon.

Dry stone wall near bridge at Piperstown

Book Club - The Pornographer by John Mc Gahern

The book club choice for February is 'The Pornographer' by John McGahern

Brief Description
One of the preeminent writers of our time, John McGahern has captivated readers with such poignant and heart-wrenching novels as Amongst Women and The Dark.
In The Pornographer, Michael creates an ideal world of sex as a writer of pornographic fiction, while he bungles every phase of his entanglement with an older woman who has the misfortune to fall in love with him. But his insensitivity to this love is in direct contrast to the tenderness with which he attempts to make his aunt’s slow death in a hospital tolerable. Everywhere in this rich novel is the drama of opposites, but above all, sex and death are never far from each other.

John Mc Gahern

The first time I listened to John McGahern was on a programme produced by RTE, and I remember going from mild interest to being absolutely absorbed by what the man had to say.  He spoke about writing, the art, and the need to write, and as this was in the days before you could pause a programme, or view it later as a download, I ended up grabbing the first piece of paper I could find, (which was a torn up telephone bill) and started madly to write down notes.  I still carry that torn phone bill around in my wallet.  The many quotes I took down are each a gem, but for now, I give you my  favourite:-

'A good writer is present everywhere, but never visible.'

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Derelict Cottage Piperstown

Derelict Cottage -  Piperstown

One of the first things that struck me about living in the Dublin Mountains was the sense that so much about these surroundings were here long before any of us were born, and will remain long after we are all gone.  But there are elements that are not so safe, and one of those is the numerous derelict buildings that still remain from times past. 

When we came upon our own piece of derelict structure eleven years ago, we felt a connection not just to the land, but to the house itself.  It was in a very sorry state, most of our friends thought us mad, and indeed over the seven years that it took us to get approval for refurbishing the cottage, we did at times agree with them.

Anyhow like all good stories, it had a happy ending, but there were stories about the house, that went beyond the known historical tales attached to it, like the bold Robert Emmet and the Kearney's, both already written into country and local history.  No there was another story to be told, one that we heard much later.

The first time I got a hint of it, we had steel scaffolding up through the belly of the cottage and the daughter of a neighbour, (she was probably about eleven at the time) told me how she used to look up at our house from her Granddad's (Maurice Collins) place, and dream about one day living here, fixing the house up, for it was indeed a house that when you looked up at it from the lower levels of the valley, looked like something out of a childhood fairytale.  Later still, others too came and visited, and each recounted their own tales of the cottage, whether it was playing in it as a child, or revisiting it in later years, and each time they spoke, there was something special from memory in the house for each of them.

Maybe it was because of the history of the place that locals were drawn to it, they too sensing something that went beyond their own years on earth, but somehow our little cottage became part of what this beautiful part of Dublin represents, not just the landscape, but the people and the houses that they once called 'home'.

When I am out walking and I look at the derelict cottages, I think of the people that used to live in them, the ones that are no longer here, and the ones living, that remember these old buildings as part of their family history, for they are as important an element of this place as the hedgerow and the forests, and if we are not careful, we could lose them and their stories for good.

Poetry Bus Poem - Connections

This week's poetry bus theme from http://sciencegirltraveler.blogspot.com/2011/01/poetry-bus-for-january.html asked us to write about something you like that other people don’t like. Or you’re afraid they don’t like it. Or you think they think you’re strange for liking it.
When I read this, I knew immediately the one thing that I would write about, which falls into the category of something you like but others might not, or think strange or weird or all that stuff that we all worry about.  Anyhow, it goes back to my early days of motherhood, that mad crazy time when so much takes you by surprise,  but I had such a draw to the smell of each of my babies, so think me strange, but the truth be out.  


They are all grown up,
all three of them.
It seems so long ago now,
but I still remember them small,
squashed up little people,
tiny hands that gripped my fingers,
trusting eyes that never questioned,
a primal bond that followed from the womb,
pulsating through every part of me,
like a lioness protecting her own,
and breathing in the smell of them,
back to a time before language,
a ancient bond that never falters,
the sense of you and them and yours,
to watch and keep close,
until the end of time.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Icicles Mountain Stream

I love the look and sound of water, there is something tremendously energising about it.
  But it was a cold walk this morning, as the icicles below on this mountain stream can testify.

Thought for the Weekend - Anonymous

'If you want to be something, you have to do something.'
- Anonymous

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Bohernabreena Road - The Real Story

The Bohernabreena Road or as it was originally known 'B√≥thar na Bruineas' or it's english translation 'the road to the hostel', is believed to be the road to one of the most famous houses of hospitality, the site of Da Dearga's hostel.  The destruction of Da Deargas hostel has become one of the local myths.


The Hostel Under Attack

(Extract from Myths and Legends of South County Dublin)

During the reign of Conaire, peace and prosperity reigned: however, that was soon to come to an end. His fostersons, the sons of Donn Deasa, formed a robber band that stole pigs and cattle. They did this to see what harm they could do the king and what punishment he would mete out to them. They then got Conaire's sons to join them. All of them were captured and brought before Conaire who banished them, and they were forced to leave Ireland.
While in exile they met Ingsel the One-eyed, who was also in exile. Ingcel Caech was the son of the Britons. Ingcel listened with great interest to the foster brothers of Conaire Mor when they talked of Ireland: and he saw in that land a great prize of riches.
He asked the brothers help in raiding Ireland. They gathered together an army and landed on the Dublin coast near Howth.

At the same time Conaire had gone to the south of Ireland to settle a dispute. On his way back to Tara he decided to rest for the night. He visited his old friend, Da Dearga, at his hostel in Glenasmole: Da Dearga received him with great festivities.
The hostel lay so that the Dodder flowed through it. There were several doorways in it but only one door. This was placed in whichever doorway the wind blew upon Da Dearga.
Ingcel and his followers kept watch on the hostel. They realised that Conaire was inside. The Hostel was full of warriors, musicians playing and jugglers doing wonderful feats; and Da Dearga with his servants giving out food and wine. Ingcel then marched to the attack and surrounded the hostel.
The great struggle began. The Hostel was set on fire, but the fire was put out. Conaire and his men sallied forth - hundreds were killed. Once again the enemy attacked, the Hostel was once again set alight. Three times the Hostel was set on fire and three times the flames were put out using the waters of the Dodder and all the wine in the house.
Ingcel asked one of his Druids to cast a spell on Conaire. The druid makes Conaire very thirsty. Conaire has done a lot of fighting but he can fight no more till he gets a drink. He begged for water, but it is all gone putting out the fire.
One of his servants, Mac Cecht, leaves to seek out water for his king. Mac Cecht travelled all over Ireland looking for water, while the battle raged on, and Conaire was still dying of thirst. At last Mac Cecht finds a lake, Loch Gara in Roscommon, where he fills the King's golden cup.
When he returned to the hostel, he found the defenders all dead or fled, and two of the attackers cutting of Conaire's head. He killed them and poured water into Conaire's headless neck.
The severed head thanked him for his good deed and then died. The hostel was destroyed.

(Gives dying for a drink a whole new meaning!)


Book Club - In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

This month's 'In the Skin of a Lion' by Michael Ondaatje is the latest book to fall victim for review.  Reviews will hopefully be posted next week.

In 1920 Patrick Lewis arrives in the bustling city of Toronto, leaving behind his Canadian wilderness home.  He immerses himself in the lives of the people who surround him, learning, from their stories, the history of the city itself.  And he had his own adventures: searching for a missing millionaire, tunnelling beneath Lake Ontario, falling in love.

In the Skin of a Lion is Michael Ondaatje's predecessor to his Booker Prize-winning, The English Patient.  It is in it that we encounter for the first time, Hana the orphaned girl and Caravaggio the thief, among a large cast of characters. 

'Ondaatje writes in curves, in time-lapses, a sort of verbal cinema whose narrative is unfaltering' The Times

If you have read this book and want to say a few words on it, please post a comment. Thanks

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Early Morning Frost Piperstown

Early morning frost Piperstown.  Who can control the impulse to write at times?

Frost Piperstown

Early morning frost underfoot,
you can smell the land,
ground twists of turf and moss-coated rock,
pulsating from this jagged place.
Like a seasoned seductress,
leisurely undressing by the light of day,
and always the bird song,
falling like drops of rain.

Walking/Photo Journal - Night & Day Dublin Mountains

Apart from the beauty of the landscape through the seasons, the shades that are created over the Dublin Mountains never cease to amaze me, from powder pinks to indigo blues!
 Pic from later yesterday on the Bohernabreena Road.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walking/Photo Journal - Roadway to Glenasmole Valley

New Idea for 2011

Some of you might know that I enjoy walking, so now that we're no longer under four feet of snow up here in the Dublin Mountains, I got an idea.

For what it's worth, I plan to take an image each day while I am out and about and maybe bring some of the beauty and history of the place where I live to life!

So here we begin. The sun was out today, and so was I.  Below is one of the small tracks off the main mountain road which leads down to the Glenasmole Valley.  And what better way to kick start this new adventure than to include a poem by John Lee a native of Glenasmole.
John could write a poem in couple of days or a couple of weeks depending on the length (nothing to you Poetry Bus Riders!).  He lived in Glenasmole his whole life, and died in 1982 aged 76.


In dear old Ireland is a valley,
Away up in the Dublin hills,
and as for beauty none can compare,
with it's heather clad mountains and flowing rills,
and in the evening when work is over,
how pleasant 'tis to take a stroll,
and bathe your eyes on the lovely scenes,
that surround the valley of Glenasmole.
There is an air of peace in this humble valley
you will match it where 'er you go,
I am certain it can compare with
'Green Killarney' or to 'Fair Dungloe',
it's people too they are kind and cheerful,
they work with zeal to achieve their goal,
You may sing the praises of far off places,
my choice will ever be Glenasmole.


Leaf Books - Writing Collaboration Competition

This might be of interest to some of you, especially if you are already part of a group of writers, or have worked with others on pieces before -

 Have you ever produced, or would you like to produce, a piece of writing with another person? Leaf is seeking collaborations – between two or more writers, writer and artist/printmaker/illustrator, photographer and poet, or any other kind of collaboration you’ve taken part in. You’re welcome to embark on a brand new piece or to submit an extract from a previous project. Pieces of writing should be no longer than 1000 words each.

Prizes: £150 first prize plus publication in the Leaf Writers’ Magazine. Further successful entries may be published in the magazine. Published authors will also receive a free copy of the magazine.
You can enter online or by post: if you enter by post and would like your piece returned to you, please provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Entry fee: £3 per entry, 4 entries for £10.
Please include both/all of the authors’ names on your entry form.

Closing date: 28th Feb 2011

Full details of all competitions, including competition guidelines, are available here. See the competitions page on our website for full details of all current competitions and to enter online.
Contacting Leaf Books

Post: Leaf Books, GTi Suite, Ty Menter, Abercynon, Rhondda Cynon Taff CF45 4SNhttp://www.leafbooks.co.uk
A member of the GTi Business Network.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Poetry Bus Poem - Night

This week's prompt came from the wonderful TFE, see link http://totalfeckineejit.blogspot.com/2011/01/behold-tis-mighty-poetry-bus.html 
and it was all about taking time out and listening to oneself by breathing etc etc.  My plan was to do so early on Sunday morning, but events took over and this plan failed completely.

It was a good day though, filled with lots of extra bits of the unexpected, so why the dark melancholy late at night when I finally stopped reading and decided  at long last to go to bed?

I wish I knew, but wide awake with the rest of the house asleep, and the normal mountain breeze that sweeps across the valley taking a temporary holiday, I found myself in silence.

Maybe it was the damnation of depressing January, or the absence of Christmas chocolates, or the dark winter night waiting for the snowdrops to peek up and tell us that it will soon be Spring, but for the life of me, I can't remember when I listened and I heard so little back.

I think perhaps it's time I got out more, but the end result, a dark poem, roll on the snowdrops!


It is late, in the restlessness of night,
infrequent sounds, stark interruptions,
to silence gently carried by the breeze
that now creeps across the valley.

It is the very absence of real noise
that echoes the spell of loneliness,
‘as quiet as the grave,’
no wild bellows from the depth of earth.

Nor the voices of others asleep,
even my own, loud normally inside my head, stops,
no longer busy, seeking, running away from,
and the silence deafens.

The eerie nothingness invades.
And so I breathe,
because I must,
the harshness is in the silence I hear back.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Albert Einstein

'Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death' - Albert Einstein

One to be remembered!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Writing Group - Call for New Members

Lucan Writers Group- Call to New Members

Lucan Writers Group meet every second Saturday in Lucan Library, Co Dublin from 11 a.m - 1 p.m. The next meeting is Saturday the 22nd January 2011.

Currently we are open for new members.  The criteria is simple, if you are over 18 and have a keen interest in writing, whether it be prose, poetry, novel or script writing, then you will fit in.

We are a diverse group and over the years, we have hopefully achieved an environment that fosters and encourages the art of writing.

Normally the meeting kicks off with a writing exercise, after which people are free to read their work to the group for constructive feedback.

Some bloggers known to you are already members, like myself, http://120socks.blogspot.com,
http://variouscushions.blogspot.com ,
http://domesticoubliette.blogspot.com ,
and http://davidmohan.wordpress.com

Feel free to visit these wonderful blogs or check out our lastest Creative Writing Retreat @ http://120socks.blogspot.com/2010/09/writers-retreat.html.

Since the beginning of the Lucan Writers Group in 2006, the group and many of its members, have individually and collectively picked up numerous awards, including taking second prize in the National Group Writers Award in 2008 (see http://www.lucanwriters.ie/).

Along with giving prestigious readings, work from group members have been published in magazines, anthologies and independent books of their own, as well as taking part in various collective exhibitions, including 'Paint the Town Red', an art/literature project.

But more importantly Lucan Writers is an open and constructive group, with a keen interest in supporting those with a love for creating the written word.

If you want to find out more about becoming a member, you can email me @ phillips.louisem0@gmail.com .

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's in a Number??

Well, seeing as how January is well and truly here and we are all wondering what 2011 will bring to us, and seeing as how, I have not posted any Numerology Gems in a while, this seems like as good a time as any to dabble in the optimistic and possibly ridiculous, but sure what the hell!

How to work out your Personal Year number for 2011 and what does it mean?

To find out your Personal Year number for 2011, you take the month you were born, let's say October, which is 10, add date of birth, let's say the 25th and then the current year, 2011.

10 + 25 + 2011 = 2046 Reduce to single digit 2+0+4+6 (12)= 1+2 = 3 

Easy -See below for Personal Years 1 - 9

(Please note I did not create these forecasts, I was very simply drawn to them through idle curiosity or roughly translated, looking to do something other than all the things that I should be doing!)

1 Personal Year
This is a new beginning time. Embrace courage, openness, and initiate new ideas. Energy is behind you supporting new directions, self definition, and new ideas. Follow your dreams and begin cultivating what really motivates you. It is not a time to wait around as you could miss out on what this year has to offer. You really are setting the pace for the next nine years.

2 Personal Year
This year requires cooperation, patience, and continued development of what you began last year. Time is needed to put everything into motion. Continue to focus on your motivations and step by step progress so that what you began last year can further develop. Relationships are also an area of focus throughout the year.

3 Personal Year
This year wants to expand your life and focus. It brings increased activity and recognition. Enthusiasm moves into the picture. You may find yourself quite busy with more social interaction. Seeds can be planted in the hearts and minds of those around you. If you become confused by too many directions, pick the one that excites you the most. Expression and Creativity are highlighted.

4 Personal Year
Organization is key in this year including continued development and focus. You may feel a little restricted in some ways but keep in mind the reward ahead from you efforts. This is a foundation year and asks you to finish details where continued support is needed.

5 Personal Year
This year promises rewards and progress from what you developed the previous four years. Often opportunities come your way to advance in various directions. The year asks for flexibility, and may bring some risks, but rewards are what the year wishes to bring. Sometimes relationships at a distance and travel are highlighted.

6 Personal Year
Relationships with family, friends, and co-workers is key this year. The spotlight shines more on domestic matters. Love interests are often highlighted as well as the passion that connects us to our creativity. There is also a focus on self-love, connection, and nurturing.

7 Personal Year
This is somewhat of a sabbatical time. Much is gained through reflection and personal refinement. You may want to ask yourself some important questions like what your Life Purpose is and what you want your life to be like. It is a time for seeking a deeper understanding into your inner nature. Solitude is often needed in order to quiet your mind and get in touch with what really matters to you.

8 Personal Year
After the reflection of last year, it is time to move from the inner world into the outer world and manifest in greater ways what you have been working toward during the last seven years. Material issues, career, and worldly accomplishments come to the forefront. Organization is again important and monetary gain is possible.

9 Personal Year
Much like the 7 Personal Year the 9 invites you to pay special attention to your inner world. You have graduated from a cycle of experience. It is a time for completing many areas of experience so that you can move freely into the next cycle ahead without carrying forward outgrown or unneeded baggage. There is a letting go of the old as anticipation of future possibilities exists within you. Gratefulness and compassion are especially important at this time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thought for the Week - http://xkcd.com/

I seem to have slipped in my duties as regard to the 'thought for the weekend' as far as last friday was concerned.  Blame the christmas/new year, one hour, one day, one week, falling into one another, until you reach a point where you need to switch on the television to get your bearings.

So as I missed the slot, I am subsituting 'thought for the weekend' for 'thought for the week'.  This one is from a site highlighted the other week Kate, 'Emerging Writer' @ http://emergingwriter.blogspot.com/and further such wonders can be found at http://xkcd.com or for those of you that can't increase the image size to see it, you can just log on to http://xkcd.com/349/

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Poetry Bus Poem - Whisperings

This week's great poetry bus prompts came from 'Emerging Writer' @ http://emergingwriter.blogspot.com/ , and they were certainly varied and interesting.

I got tempted by the first prompt which was based on the revenge of the critic, and being one for leaning to the dark and depressing side of things at times, I got swallowed up by the idea of this little gem.

Hopefully I moved to the light and the positive nearer the end, which is a much more rewarding state of mind!!! 


Have you heard the whisperings?
The doubts and uncertainties that seep and soak,
visiting at unexpected hours,
like in the dead of night,
or just before you take a chance,

Having a language all their own,
one that charms your ear, in silence and in noise,
leaning to the dark, clawing at belief,
with a subtlety of self,
that fools the pupil it knows best.

A sombre thought indeed, that our biggest critic hides within us all,
who consumes with glee and skill of viciousness,
turning us into mere shadows of ourselves,
by its slash of minor beliefs, or pride,
enthusiastic wonders that bring a smile,

Hinting one might achieve,
a small or soft or great,
or even gentle murmuring,
that would gather in arms of strength,
harnessing against the dark whisperings of self.

For revenge of this critic is perhaps the sweetest of them all,
for in it lies the secret of success,
think hard how foolish he or she might seem,
if you were not taken by their spell of doubt,
but rather silenced,

The one most feared,
who knows us far too well and yet not at all.
This knowledge means their game is up,
for when you listen to their whisperings,
you must turn, and make them listen back.
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